The last forty years have witnessed a vast reclamation project in ancient history, as scholars have worked to recover the lives of historically muted groups, particularly those of women and children. The result is an impressive body of work collecting the traces ancient women and children have left behind, as well as a sophisticated epistemology of the biases, gaps, and silences in the historical record. From this perspective, the absence of ancient mothers has represented an ineluctable reality and a methodological hurdle, but rarely a subject of study in its own right. Yet the evidence suggests that mother absence was not merely a secondary artifact of bias or artistic and historiographical conventions; it was also a primary condition of antiquity, one whose root causes, social articulations, and psychological effects have never been fully described or explored, even as it had a profound effect on ancient family life and the experience of childhood.
FECHA LÍMITE/DEADLINE/SCADENZA: 15/10/2015
FECHA CONGRESO/CONGRESS DATE/DATA CONGRESSO: 26-27-28/05/2016
LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of Basel (Basel, Switzerland)
ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner (Universität Basel) - Dr. David M. Ratzan, (New York University)
INFO: call - web - email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org.
We invite scholars to reconsider the absence of ancient mothers in terms of ancient mother absence (cf. Huebner & Ratzan (eds.), Growing Up Fatherless in Antiquity [Cambridge, 2009]) and seek papers on any aspect of ancient mother absence in the ancient Mediterranean, from any period, subfield, or methodological approach, including (but not limited to) the following themes:
· The demography and sociology of ancient mother absence, including forms of mother absence not occasioned by death
· The relationship of the cultural ideals of “good” and “bad” mothers to the realities of mother absence, and the cultural construction and deconstruction of mothers, including reflections and refractions of mother absence in various rejections of motherhood (e.g., cults of virginity or chastity, medical theories minimizing maternal contribution to conception, myths of male pregnancy and birth, etc.)
· The anthropology, economics, ideology, status, and micropolitics of ancient mother-work and those who performed it (mothers, shadow mothers, stepmothers, etc.) and the effects or outcomes on children
· The psychology, emotional life, identities, and strategies of absent mothers, the children who lived apart from or survived them, and those who filled the persistent familial gap (mothers, shadow mothers, stepmothers, etc.)
· Visual or poetic representations of or engagements with mother absence and the discourse of mother absence in epitaphs, eulogies, personal correspondence, religion, cult, forensic rhetoric, politics, law, or medicine
Abstracts should be no more than 400 words (exclusive of title and biographical note), describing a 20-minute paper to be delivered in English. Please include the full title of your paper and a brief biographical note on your academic affiliation and previous research. Qualified junior researchers and recent PhD graduates are encouraged to apply. The deadline for full consideration is Oct. 15, 2015.